December 2010 -NEW YORK – The 2010 winners of the Rimington Award have been announced honoring the top centers in the FCS, DII, DIII and NAIA levels.
The award has been handed out every year since 2003 as part of the honoring of the top center in the country with the Rimington Trophy. Sean Middleton of Southeast Missouri State brings home the FCS Award for the first time in school history.
Southeast Missouri State
6’3”, 305 lbs.
Southeast Missouri is the first NCAA Football Championship Subdivison institution to have two players win the Rimington Award, as Eugene Amano (currently with the Tennessee Titans) also won the prestigious honor in 2003.
A native of Los Angeles, Calif., Middleton ended his career with 18-consecutive starts at center, blocking for some of the best running backs in Southeast Missouri history along the way. He was named to the Sports Network and Phil Steele All-America teams and earned first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference honors this season. The Redhawks offensive line had four first-team All-OVC selections this season, marking only the second time in league history that has happened.
Middleton anchored a Redhawk offense which led the nation in sacks allowed (0.50/game) and ranked third in rushing (265.1 ypg) this year. Southeast also ranked among the Top-10 in the nation in many other offensive categories.
Middleton helped lead one of the most remarkable turnarounds in FCS history this season when his team finished 9-3 overall, won its first OVC title and made its first-ever NCAA Playoff appearance after going 2-9 the year before. The Redhawks matched a school record in victories and made it to the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship, where they lost to Eastern Washington.
He played in 42 games and made 34 starts since joining the Southeast Missouri program in 2006.
NCAA Div. II
Slippery Rock University
6’5”, 305 lbs.
Fusco, who was in the starting lineup for all 44 Rock games from 2007-10, has been invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine. He is the first Slippery Rock player to earn that distinction. A first-team American Football Coaches Association and Daktronics (sports information directors) Postseason All-America selection in 2010, Fusco earned Preseason All-America honors from The Sporting News, D2football.com, D2proday.com, and Consensus Draft Services. He also received the 2010 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year Award and earned three first-team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division honors during his collegiate career.
The foundation of a Rock offensive line that opened holes for the nation’s No. 3 scorer and No. 5 rusher, redshirt sophomore running back Akeem Satterfield, Fusco is currently training for the NFL Combine at the IMG Performance Institute in Bradenton, Fla.
NCAA Div. III
University of St. Thomas (Minn.)
6’5”, 305 lbs.
Ostrue becomes just the second individual at any college level to be a two-time recipient of the elite Rimington Award, which was first presented in 2003. He also was named Division’s III top center in 2008.
He is the first St. Thomas football player — and first conference offensive lineman in 44 years — to be voted a three-time All-American. Ostrue became the first St. Thomas player to start 46 career games. In leading his team to a 30-6 mark over the last three seasons, Ostrue helped the Tommies produce more than 30, 100-yard rushing performances. He and his linemates allowed just 15 sacks over the last 26 games. He helped St. Thomas average more than 30 points and 400 offensive yards over the last three seasons since he was moved to center in 2008 after playing guard in 2007.
He displayed his toughness in a 2010 road game at nationally-ranked St. John’s. In a rivalry game before a Division III-record crowd of 16,000, Ostrue broke a bone in his right hand early in the game but stayed in the game and snapped the ball with his left hand. He wore a cast in some subsequent games and helped the Tommies win the conference title for the first time since 1990, make back-to-back NCAA playoff trips for the first time in school history, and win a school-record 12 games.
6’2”, 282 lbs.
Andy Fjeseth has been a three year starter for the Saints and during that span, Carroll won three straight Frontier Conference championship and compiled a 40-2 overall mark and a 30-0 league record. Andy was the starting center in the NAIA Football National Championship game in 2008 and 2010, winning the title this past season with a 10-7 win over defending champion Sioux Falls.
During the past season, the Saints´ offensive line allowed only eight sacks in 14 games. He helped Carroll become the number one ranked scoring and total offense leader in the Frontier Conference. He was a two-time first team All-Conference selection, including a unanimous pick this past season. Andy is the second Carroll College center to be honored with this award. Kyle Baker of Carroll was honored in 2005. He was also honored by his teammates, being selected as a co-captain of Carroll´s 2010 National Championship team. Andy is also a three time Academic All-Frontier Conference selection.
About the Rimington Award
Whereas the Rimington Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding center in NCAA FBS, the Rimington Award is presented to the premier centers in each of the following divisions: NCAA Division FCS, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, and NAIA. The recipients of the Rimington Award are chosen by Jason Dannelly, founder and editor of the Victory Sports Network. The Award has been recognizing the nation’s premier centers beyond the NCAA FBS division since 2003